Let me explain: Cloud For Analytics BI Modeling

Cloud for Analytics (C4A) is a wonderful tool that is currently the single one on the market that offers business intelligence self-service capabilities combined with planning. In 2016 SAP also adds predictive analytics capabilities and risk & compliance. It will than be the single tool that covers the full closed loop portfolio, and that is remarkable.

In this article I explain and demonstrate to you how you can create a simple C4A model with GEO capabilities and a custom hierarchy.

When I first started modeling in C4A, I had to get used a bit to the way of modeling. As a "traditional BI guy" I am used that custom modeling is being made on the fly. In Cloud For Analytics, the full model is defined upfront, before loading data. Once you have tried a few times, you quickly get used to it, and I have to admit that defining the model upfront makes sense.

The dataset that I use composes of a few metrics (revenue, outlook/forecast/budget etc), orders and order dates, cities with long/lat coordinates, and P&L attributes that roll-up in a hierarchy on 3 levels. The lowest P&L Element level in my sample set rolls up to P&L Group Level which rolls-up to P&L. The sample dataset is available here.

The aim of my modeling exercise is to create a C4A model based on the sample dataset, customize the model and create a simple story on top of it. This is the sequence of working:

  1. login to Cloud For Analytics

  2. set Enable Planning if you require that planning module applies to your model; you can forecast your metrics now

  3. choose Models and create New Model From File

  4. adjust the Attribute Types per column: dates get Time type, measures get Key Figure type

  5. Assign the GEO long/lat coordinates to the appropriate dimension. C4A verifies on correctness

  6. Create the model

  7. To create your custom hierarchy, go to the appropriate column and choose Add Hierarchy.

  8. Use Parent as hierarchy level and fill in the lowest level attributes. In the Parent column, you will first parent-level

  9. Repeat step 8 for the other levels and save your model

To create your story, tap the story-menu and tap + to create a story. Choose CANVAS to start and add a chart. If you select your P&L Element attributes, C4A uses the custom hierarchy you just created. Drill down is now in place.

Add a GEO chart and use the attribute that you choose to model your long/lat from.

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